Category Archives: Ten Comandments

I used God’s name in vain!

“Dog gummit!”, “Gosh Darn!”, “Jiminy Cricket!” and “Jumping Jehoshaphat!”

Last evening while going to pay our final respects to a gentlemen that spent his life serving others in the church, we sang worship songs both to and from the funeral home.  On our trip back home, while we were all singing a praise course, I was convicted of something I’ve stood in the pulpit and taught several times. Amidst my efforts to praise God and express adoration toward Him, I realized that I was taking the Lord’s name in vain. (No, I wasn’t “cussing”!)

So, you ask, what does it mean to take the Lord’s name in vain? For most people, whether you are religious or not, you would not hesitate with your answer, “It means to say G-D.” Undoubtedly, there are far more people that can answer this than there are who can list the ten commandments, name the Gospels, or even tell you the difference between the New and Old Testaments.

For most, the ultimate violation of the third commandment, “You shall not take the Lord your God’s name in vain,” is to say “G-D.” Some people will stand before God and when asked “Why should I let you in to heaven?” they will proudly say, “Because I did not murder, bear false witness, and I never said “the G-D word.” (Albeit, I do not think God is going to ask this question.)

To begin with, allow me to preface my commentary with this summation: We are not to use God’s name insincerely. Consequently, the question now becomes: What does the Bible mean when it says not to use God’s name in an empty or vain way? Thus, what does the third commandment mean?

 

You would think that a simple word study on the Hebrew word naqa (vain) would provide us a clear understanding. Likewise, our understanding of a “name” and what it signifies is much different than what it meant in the context in which the biblical commandment was given. From the study of scripture (hermeneutics) we find two principles that must guide our study of this commandment. Understanding contextually (exegesis), as opposed to reading into the text (eisegesis), what the text meant then and consequently understand more clearly how it’s applied today.

It is my belief that on Mount Sinai, God was attempting to prevent the Israelites from treating His name similar to other pagan gods. They were exposed to many prophets from other nations continuously making decrees in the names of their gods, attempting to add weight to their decree, soliciting obedience and fear from their people. God was saying to Israel; do not take my name in vain like these other nations use the names of their gods. He did not want them to use His name falsely or in vain. Simply put, God did not want the Israelites to say their god was Jehovah, and not demonstrate daily a monotheistic life style.

Therefore, I believe that this commandment has nothing to do with the words we use (although, from out of the heart the mouth speaks), and everything to do with how we live. For example; when my mother married my father, in Memphis Tennessee, back in the 1950’s, she took my father’s name. She forsook her parent’s name, and took her husband’s name. The taking of the new name, echoed a change in life, and change in status and a change in priorities. She was no longer a single woman, she was married.

Had my mother changed her name, but not changed her lifestyle, she would have taken my father’s name “in-vain”. Throughout my Army career I wore a uniform almost every day, in doing so I took on the name of those whose uniform it is. Whether team uniform, a policeman uniform or military uniform, you assume the name of that team, law enforcement or soldier organization. 

When you take the name of God, at a baptism, and tell the world that you are now part of the ‘bride of Christ’ (as the church is called), yet you do not live like a ‘bride of Christ’, you have taken His name in vain, and you will not be considered guiltless. For Christians, He is your groom, not a casual friend. A bride is supposed to be an intimate friend, companion, confidant, and passionate toward their groom. We are to protect His name, be careful to represent Him honorably, and to always present a conduct comparable to His character. To treat Jesus as anything less, is to take His name in vain.

Finally, for me, I was singing praises to Him, using words of adoration. Words like, “I seek your face”, “I lift your name on high”, and “I surrender all.” Notably, it wasn’t the words per se; rather it was that my lifestyle didn’t live up to my words. Proclaiming to be His, wearing His name like a badge of honor, yet my life doesn’t mirror that of my words…. I had not sought Him that day, I had not lifted His name in praise until we pressed start on the CD player, and I had not surrendered all.  

 

I am a blood bought, Holy Spirit filled, adopted son of the Most High God and I have a mansion in glory. Yet, I’m not guiltless. 

Thank God, there’s a difference between conviction and condemnation, the former is of God’s Spirit and the latter from that Father of lies. The Spirit of God brings conviction unto righteousness, conversely Satan’s condemnation is meant to kill, steal and destroy.

Today, I will sing unto the Lord, I will lift His name on high, and I will draw nearer to Him … and people will know I’m His not by what I say, rather they will know by how I act.

 

 

A bondservant of Christ and eternal brother to you,

 

 

Declaration of Faith – Part 3

Delcaration of Faith
Of Larry W. Brashear

With regard to the First Commandment:
“I am Yahweh your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods besides me.” Deuteronomy 5:6-7
I DECLARE that the heart of the first commandment is knowing and acknowledging Yahweh to be the only true God, and our God, believing in Him as He has revealed Himself.
I declare that the first commandment requires giving worship and glory to Yahweh alone.
I declare that Yahweh is due worship and glory because of the power, holiness, righteousness, and love which He has demonstrated by His wonderful acts.
I declare that we fail to worship and glorify God if we are atheists or agnostics, or if we believe in the existence of any god besides Yahweh.
I declare that we fail to worship and glorify God if we deny the deity or distinct personhood of any of the three Persons of the Trinity.
I declare that we fail to worship and glorify God if we hold all gods to be the same, or declare any person or creature to be a god.
I declare that we fail to worship and glorify God if we refuse to believe His words.
I declare that we fail to worship and glorify God if we live without regard for religion.
I declare that we fail to worship and glorify God if we live a religious life without a genuine love and devotion to God.
I declare that we worship and glorify God by acknowledging Him to be King of kings and Lord of lords, above all things that men worship, and the standard of truth, love, and beauty, both universally and in our own lives.
I declare that the first commandment requires giving all thanks and praise to God.
I declare that God is due all thanks and praise because all good things come from Him, and because nothing harmful comes upon us that He does not allow and use for a greater purpose.
I declare that we fail to give God His due thanks and praise if we ascribe the praise of any good we are, have, or can do to fortune, chance, idols, ourselves, or any other creature.
I declare that we fail to give God His due thanks and praise if we treat those things not visibly religious as if they are unrelated to God and His Lordship and goodness.
I declare that we especially fail to give God His due thanks and praise if we try to achieve salvation through our own merits, or claim to have done so.
I declare that we give God His due thanks and praise when we openly acknowledge before God and men how He has blessed us by all His acts, and proclaim His loving and just providence in every circumstance.
I declare that the first commandment requires approaching God with reverence and recognition of His Majesty.
I declare that God is due reverence because He is infinitely above us in power, wisdom, and purity, and we are as nothing before Him.
I declare that we fail to revere God if we promote heresy and false teaching about Him.
I declare that we fail to revere God if we worship Him casually or without the use of the mind.
I declare that we fail to revere God if we search boldly and curiously into those secrets about God which He has chosen not to reveal in the Bible.
I declare that we revere God when we approach worship and instruction with a reflection on all that makes Him glorious and worthy of praise, and have a fearful sense of our unworthiness to stand before Him.
I declare that the first commandment requires relying fully on God and giving absolute trust only to Him and His word.
I declare that God is due our trust because He is Himself the truth, and has promised to guide us and provide for us.
I declare that we fail to rely on God if we appoint mere humans as lords over our faith and conscience, or when we are gullible to the teachings of men when they go against the words of God.
I declare that we fail to rely on God if we live by self-reliance or are marked by pride and presumption.
I declare that we fail to rely on God if we pray to, invoke, or give any veneration to Mary, saints, angels, or any other creatures.
I declare that we fail to rely on God if we make compacts with demonic forces or consult with them, the dead, horoscopes, Ouijas, tarot cards, psychics, or any other tool of the occult, even for the purposes of entertainment.
I declare that we fail to rely on God if we place our comfort, security, and standards for truth in the advancements of human knowledge and capabilities, and when we make those advancements without first considering their theological and ethical implications.
I declare that we rely on God when we find our assurance and salvation in Him alone, and trust in Him to provide us with the sustenance and guidance He would give us.
I declare that the first commandment requires having all our pleasure in God: thinking on Him, remembering Him, honoring, adoring, and thinking highly of Him, choosing and loving Him, and thoroughly delighting and rejoicing in Him.
I declare that we delight in God because He has created us, indeed all creation, for that purpose, and because He is the only source of true joy.
I declare that we fail to delight in God if we hate, despise, mock, jest, or complain about God and His commandments.
I declare that we fail to delight in God if we persist in ignorance, forgetfulness, misapprehensions, false opinions, or unworthy and wicked thoughts concerning God.
I declare that we fail to delight in God if we are impatient or not content with His blessings, or if we charge God foolishly for the calamities He inflicts.
I declare that we fail to delight in God if we pursue primarily our own happiness, leisure, stimulation, and entertainment, or if we love ourselves more than we love God’s commandments.
I declare that we fail to delight in God if we take more delight or place more security in worldly pleasures than in God.
I declare that we fail to delight in God if an inordinate and immoderate setting of our mind, will, or affections even on good things overshadows our love for God.
I declare that we delight in God when we find joy in what He gives us, and in learning more about Him and His will, and when our obedience arises from a glad eagerness to endure even the greatest hardships to follow Him.
I declare that the first commandment requires carefully endeavoring in all things to please God, and to show ourselves approved by Him.
I declare that we seek to please God because He loved us first and it pleased Him to bring about our salvation for His glory, and because He has prepared in advance good works for us to do.
I declare that we fail to please God if we compromise our faithfulness to His word in order to please men.
I declare that we fail to please God if we withhold or neglect anything due Him.
I declare that we fail to please God if we express callousness, incorrigibleness, or rebellion at His blessings or His judgments.
I declare that we fail to please God if we seek to accomplish good ends by employing sinful means.
I declare that we fail to please God if we seek to resist His work in our lives.
I declare that we fail to please God if we seek only to receive His comfort without pressing forward to do His will.
I declare that we please God by walking with Him in obedience and submission of our whole self to Him, and by being quick to repent when we offend Him.


With regard to the Second Commandment:
“So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day Yahweh spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image of Me for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female…and that you do not lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which Yahweh your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.” Deuteronomy 4:15-16, 19
I DECLARE that the heart of the second commandment is worshiping God in the ways He would have us worship Him.
I declare that the second commandment requires learning, observing, and maintaining pure and entire all the religious worship that God has instituted in His word.
I declare that we worship in God’s way because worship is by definition directed toward God and His pleasure and glory, and not primarily to meet the needs, preferences, or sensitivities of believers or of the world.
I declare that we fail to keep God’s way of worship if we do not regularly gather with other believers for corporate worship.
I declare that we fail to keep God’s way of worship if we have contempt for the worship and ordinances which God has instituted.
I declare that we fail to keep God’s way of worship if by neglect or refusal, we as believers do not observe the ordinance of baptism, or if we in good standing in our church do not observe the Lord’s supper.
I declare that we fail to keep God’s way of worship if we devise, advise, observe, or approve of forms of worship out of harmony with the biblical pattern, or unable clearly to communicate God’s truth.
I declare that we fail to keep God’s way of worship, and in fact commit sacrilege, if we worship in form only and not in spirit.
I declare that we fail to keep God’s way of worship if our claimed services to God are performed in order to attain wealth, fame, power, or influence over others’ lives.
I declare that we fail to keep God’s way of worship if we approach God while in disharmony with our brothers.
I declare that we fail to keep God’s way of worship if we do not minister to our neighbors in their need.
I declare that we keep God’s way of worship through the proper administration and receiving of the ordinances, giving earnest praise, thanksgiving, and prayer in the name of Christ, and by reading, proclaiming, and listening attentively to the word of God with an endeavor to live out that word in love and service to God and others.
I declare that the second commandment requires opposing all false worship, especially the worldly practice of using idols and images.
I declare that we oppose false worship because it offends God and leads us to false perceptions of who He is and how to please Him.
I declare that we fail to oppose false worship if we tolerate worship which is unbiblical or empty in either form or substance.
I declare that we fail to oppose false worship if we persist in inadequate worship patterns in our adherence to tradition or our pursuit of novelty.
I declare that we fail to oppose false worship if we maintain, spread, encourage, or tolerate superstitious beliefs or practices, even those which may appear harmless.
I declare that we fail to oppose false worship if we use natural things for divination; that is, to assist in the ascertaining of His will or the future.
I declare that we fail to oppose false worship if we engage in idolatry, in the worship or service of feigned deities, or in making any representation of feigned deities.
I declare that we fail to oppose false worship if we worship or revere any image, or God in an image or through the use of an image.
I declare that we fail to oppose false worship if we place in a church sanctuary, or use in worship, any representation of God, of all or any of the three Persons of the Trinity, in any kind of image or likeness whatsoever.
I declare that we fail to oppose false worship if we entertain ourselves with that which glorifies false religions or the occult, presents them as harmless, or encourages involvement in pagan or occultic practices.
I declare that we oppose false worship by avoiding, detesting, denouncing, and removing false worship, promotion of false religion and the occult, and all icons and monuments of idolatry, in accordance with our place and calling.
I declare that the second commandment requires organizing the worshiping community according to God’s design for it.
I declare that we organize worship properly because a well-ordered church maintains the purity of worship and equips us to please God and delight in Him, and because God has taken care to show us the right way to order a church.
I declare that we fail to organize worship properly if our regular gathering for worship is not in association with or under the discipline of a local church.
I declare that we fail to organize worship properly if we join societies with their own oaths and rituals, or which speak of access to God and heaven apart from the gospel.
I declare that we fail to organize worship properly if we join any group which would not have its teachings and practices known to the church.
I declare that we fail to organize worship properly if we engage only in corporate worship without worshiping and serving God in our daily lives.
I declare that we fail to organize worship properly if we allow into membership in the worshiping community those who are not believers and thus cannot worship.
I declare that we fail to organize worship properly if our church’s leaders have too much or too little authority.
I declare that we fail to organize worship properly if we share in the ordinances with churches who do not practice them according to Christ’s institution as taught in the Bible.
I declare that we organize worship properly by maintaining biblical church government and discipline, and by maintaining the integrity of the church’s worship and ministry.


With regard to the Third Commandment:
“You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” Exodus 20:6
I DECLARE that the heart of the third commandment is reverence for God’s holiness, so as not to bring reproach upon His name or His word.
I declare that the third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of God’s name, titles, and attributes.
I declare that we hallow (commend the holiness of) God’s name because it embodies God’s infinite power, freedom, and authority, and because it is the name at which every knee will one day bow and give glory to God.
I declare that we fail to hallow God’s name when we speak God’s name or titles in an ignorant, vain, irreverent, reflexive, profane, superstitious, or coarse fashion.
I declare that we fail to hallow God’s name when we speak slanderously of God, or question His titles or attributes.
I declare that we fail to hallow God’s name when we call down curses lightly, vindictively, or profanely.
I declare that we fail to hallow God’s name when we refuse to speak it for superstitious reasons, or out of shame or embarrassment to claim God in the presence of the world.
I declare that we hallow God’s name when we speak it reverently, lovingly, and worshipfully, addressing Him and speaking of Him with expressed recognition of His holiness.
I declare that the third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of the Bible.
I declare that we honor the Bible because it is the only means by which God has revealed His identity and His salvation for all ages, and because it is full of the truth of God, being the only proper authority for our faith and practice.
I declare that we fail to honor the Bible if we deny that it is God’s entire written word, or otherwise malign, scorn, mock, complain at, or in any way oppose its teachings, especially with regard to God’s truth, grace, and ways.
I declare that we fail to honor the Bible if we misinterpret, misapply, or in any way pervert the Bible or any part of it.
I declare that we fail to honor the Bible if as people of influence we endorse preachers or Bible teachers without first confirming the truth of their doctrine and the consistency of their lifestyle.
I declare that we fail to honor the Bible if we maintain false doctrines, or seek to formulate theology or discover truth about God without reference to the Bible as the sole authority.
I declare that we fail to honor the Bible if we base our fellowship with other believers on curious and unprofitable theological and biblical questions about which the Bible has no teaching.
I declare that we fail to honor the Bible if we engage in the false or careless translation of it, or translate what we think the Bible should say as opposed to what it actually says.
I declare that we fail to honor the Bible if we contemptuously mistreat a faithful copy of the Bible.
I declare that we fail to honor the Bible if we disobey its teachings or compromise its truth for the sake of close fellowship to unbelievers, and especially if we marry unbelievers.
I declare that we honor the Bible by demonstrating respect for all it contains, by publicly and privately submitting all our beliefs and practices to its teachings, and by proclaiming God’s word to others without compromise.
I declare that the third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of the ordinances and prayer.
I declare that we honor our worship because it is our privilege to commemorate the Lord’s death and resurrection, and to have access to God through prayer.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we are ashamed of our religion and its practices, or recant from God’s truth under threat of persecution.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we are a shame to our religion by uncomfortable, unwise, and offensive living, or by backsliding from its teachings.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we profess religion in hypocrisy, for dishonest gain, or for sinister ends.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we seek to resolve disputes between believers by resorting to civil courts rather than through the channels of church discipline.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we neglect or mock baptism, or pretend baptism in play or in jest.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we observe the Lord’s supper without reflecting on the body and blood of Christ, and how His sacrifice demonstrated the seriousness of our sin and the abundance of God’s grace and mercy.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we neglect the baptism of our believing children, or prevent them from reflectively taking the Lord’s supper.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we use it to discriminate against those who are our brothers in Christ, and in harmony with God’s word.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we use its forms for our own entertainment or satisfaction rather than for the glory of God.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if our prayers are prayed in order to please men rather than God, or in order to bring glory to ourselves rather than to God.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if our prayers are only occasional, or in times of pressing need.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we pray primarily for blessing to satisfy our own desires.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we pray in order to exercise authority over God rather than to depend on the grace and mercy of God.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we tolerate preaching not of the Bible, or worship which is not in spirit and in truth.
I declare that we fail to honor our worship if we make the church sanctuary a place of merchandise .
I declare that we honor our worship by approaching all of it with the reverence, awe, and humility that is proper for one who is in the presence of God.
I declare that the third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of oaths taken in God’s name and vows made to the Lord.
I declare that we honor oaths and vows because by fulfilling or breaking them we communicate our true regard for God’s truth and holiness, and our willingness to imitate it.
I declare that we fail to honor oaths and vows if we swear by any other name than that of God.
I declare that we fail to honor oaths and vows if the words we speak without them tend not to be true.
I declare that we fail to honor oaths and vows if we take them without the intention of fulfillment.
I declare that we fail to honor oaths and vows if we choose not to carry them out.
I declare that we fail to honor oaths and vows if we commit perjury before a court of justice.
I declare that we fail to honor oaths and vows if we fail to proclaim and live in accordance with doctrines we profess to believe.
I declare that we fail to honor oaths and vows if we make promises which place us in conflict with our obligations to God and neighbor, or with previously taken oaths and vows.
I declare that we honor oaths and vows by making them only very gravely, with as much devotion to carrying them out as to proclaiming God’s integrity, and by fulfilling them promptly and according to their expressed intention at the time they were made.

With regard to the Fourth Commandment:
“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of Yahweh your God” Deuteronomy 5:13-14a
I DECLARE that the heart of the fourth commandment is remembering God’s creation and His plan for human living.
I declare that the fourth commandment requires sanctifying to God and observing special times to worship and remember Him.
I declare that we keep days holy to God because He so commanded, and because He is worthy of full attention which requires the periodic cessation of ordinary daily activities.
I declare that we fail to keep days holy to God if we observe them out of habit or obligation, or without thought to what God has done.
I declare that we fail to keep days holy to God if we allow worldly values to intrude upon our holidays, or secularize the content of days devoted to remembrance of His work.
I declare that we fail to keep days holy to God if we join them with myths and legends, and dilute the truth of God with the fanciful stories of the world.
I declare that we fail to keep days holy to God if we celebrate days devoted to pagan or heretical memorials and practices.
I declare that we fail to keep days holy to God if we neglect our freedom in Christ and use them to cause divisions based on traditions and legalism.
I declare that we keep days holy to God by regularly celebrating God’s rest from creation, by setting aside days of thanksgiving and prayer to Him, for upholding the institutions and relationships He has ordained, by annually commemorating Christ’s incarnation and His death, and by worshiping Him every Sunday in celebration of His resurrection.
I declare that we also keep days holy to God by setting aside days or weeks privately to endeavor further in spiritual disciplines such as prayer and Bible reading, particularly in preparation for public holy days.
I declare that the fourth commandment requires the observance of a sabbath.
I declare that we observe the sabbath in order to refresh ourselves, to remember how God fully completed His creation, pronounced it good, and ceased from His creative activity, and to anticipate our entrance into God’s continuing seventh day of rest.
I declare that we fail to observe the sabbath if we work seven days a week, or if we take our day of rest without reflecting on its God-centered significance.
I declare that we fail to observe the sabbath if we so restrict our sabbath activities that we neglect or forbid work of mercy and necessity, and thereby do harm to our neighbor.
I declare that we fail to observe the sabbath if we confuse it with the day of worship which commemorates Jesus’ resurrection, so as not to remember God’s rest, and not to allow proper time for refreshment.
I declare that we observe the sabbath by setting aside weekly a day to rest from our labors, setting the time in accordance with the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and by periodically resting for longer periods (sabbaticals) for extended times of rest and devotion to God.
I declare that the fourth commandment does not require the observance of the rituals associated with the old covenant.
I declare that we are free from the old covenant because the priestly rituals were shadows fulfilled in Christ, and because God made special requirements for His people as a nation which He does not require of His people scattered over the face of the earth.
I declare that we fail to be free from the old covenant if we employ priests and mediators between ourselves and God.
I declare that we fail to be free from the old covenant if we make sacrifices or perform labors for the covering or atonement of sin.
I declare that we fail to be free from the old covenant if we regard ourselves as clean or unclean based on what goes into the body, rather than what comes from the heart.
I declare that we fail to be free from the old covenant if we maintain a legalistic approach to our religion.
I declare that we practice our freedom from the old covenant by seeing its fulfillment in Christ, our only High Priest, and finding our righteousness, forgiveness, and cleansing in Him alone.

With regard to the Fifth Commandment:
“Submit yourselves to every human institution of authority because of the Lord, whether to a king as being higher, or to praetors as having been sent through him for retribution on those who do wrong, but praise on those who do good.” 1 Peter 2:13-14
I DECLARE that the heart of the fifth commandment is the proper functioning of the institutions of human authority which God has established.
I declare that the fifth commandment requires maintaining the biblical pattern of the family.
I declare that we preserve the family because it was instituted by God as the foundation for human society, models the relationship of God to His people, and provides the framework for human intimacy, the channel of sexual expression, and the means of procreation for the human race.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as husbands do not act and speak lovingly to our wives.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as husbands do not treat our wives as equals in Christ.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as wives do not willingly submit ourselves to our husbands.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we allow in-laws and others outside to influence the operation of the family.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if our parenting responsibilities lead us to neglect the husband-wife relationship.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we seek to bear and raise children without both a father and a mother.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as parents are indifferent or casual with regard to the time and manner of the conceiving, bearing, and raising of our children.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as parents do not raise our children to be godly.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as parents do not provide the stern discipline, physical and otherwise, required to demonstrate our love and bring about obedience.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as parents leave our young children to be raised by others for the advantages of a second income.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as parents abuse our children physically, verbally, or sexually.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as children do not honor and obey our parents.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we as children despise discipline and correction.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we forbid ministers to marry and provide a model family for their congregation.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we redefine it to be other than a husband, being male, and wife, being female, and their children by blood or adoption.
I declare that we fail to preserve the family if we initiate divorce.
I declare that we preserve the family by promoting, maintaining, and assisting families to be characterized by husbands who love their wives as Christ loved the church, providing for and protecting them, by wives who submit themselves to the servant leadership of their husbands and have the care of children and the home as their primary work, the two being parents who responsibly carry out their authority to raise children, and by children who are godly, self-controlled, and obedient.
I declare that the fifth commandment requires maintaining responsible relationships between employers and employees.
I declare that we maintain proper work relationships because we were created for work and productivity, because both employers and employees are our equals in the image of God, and because by the witness of our lives at work we adorn the word of God.
I declare that we fail to maintain proper work relationships if we tolerate the buying, selling, and owning of law-abiding people as involuntary slaves or as mere property.
I declare that we fail to maintain proper work relationships if we disturb or place pressure on the quality of our employees’ families.
I declare that we fail to maintain proper work relationships if we allow hatred or prejudice to affect our dealings with prospective or current employees and employers.
I declare that we fail to maintain proper work relationships if we provide faithful employees with compensation insufficient for their labor or less than what has been agreed upon.
I declare that we fail to maintain proper work relationships if we use our authority as employers to gain favors from employees which are unrelated to their properly assigned tasks.
I declare that we fail to maintain proper work relationships if we seek to control or pressure our employers through refusing to work or follow their instructions.
I declare that we maintain proper work relationships as employers by being responsible authority figures who treat employees professionally and equitably, and as employees by being responsible workers who glorify God by doing our tasks well and pleasing our employers.
I declare that the fifth commandment requires the operation of civil government as God’s agent to enforce law and order, to preserve the peace and freedom of its citizens, and to leave their consciences free before God.
I declare that we follow God’s pattern for government because it is His institution, and the authorities that exist have been placed there by God, and are accountable to Him for their actions.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we function without or outside of government, in a state of anarchy.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we deny that we as its leaders are not accountable to God for our leadership.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we hold our citizens under tyranny or oppression, or provide them no recourse when we abuse our authority.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we allow government’s decisions and appointments to be made by men who are without wisdom or respect for their country and the well-being of their people.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we fail to enforce law, order, and public morality and decency, so as to restrain the effects of evil.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we provide inadequate defense and protection to our citizens, or forbid them the ability to defend and protect themselves and their families.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we as civil leaders exercise authority over men’s consciences and usurp the responsibilities God has assigned to the church.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we as civil leaders tax or regulate the operations and teachings of the church.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we rebel against our civil leaders, or disobey laws which are in harmony with God’s law.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we obey civil laws which are in direct conflict with God’s law.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we as citizens do not give adequate attention to and participation in our government, as part of our responsibility to make the will of God supreme in human society.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we as citizens or as churches fail to abide by the tax laws of our government.
I declare that we fail to follow God’s pattern for government if we do not respect them and pray for them as God’s servants.
I declare that we follow God’s pattern for government by establishing and participating in a representative government ruled by wise men selected by and accountable to the citizenry, who provide adequate enforcement and protection to the people and respect the freedoms of the church; and by giving proper respect and obedience to our own leaders in accordance with God’s law.
I declare that the fifth commandment requires that all those in positions of authority exercise it responsibly.
I declare that we lead responsibly because we must give account to God for the carrying out of our tasks and our treatment of the people under our charge.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we use our authority to seek our own glory, ease, profit, or pleasure.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we dishonor our position or lessen our appointed authority by unjust, indiscreet, rigorous, or remiss behavior, or by bad judgment.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we delegate to our inferiors those tasks which we ought to do ourselves.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we dissuade, discourage, forbid, or punish the good and responsible works of our inferiors.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we advise, encourage, command, or reward unlawful or inappropriate works of our inferiors.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we command things which our inferiors are unable to perform.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we leave our inferiors to wrong, temptation, or danger through improper supervision or provision for their safety.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we correct our inferiors hastily, unduly, or in excess, or otherwise provoke them to wrath.
I declare that we fail to lead responsibly if we usurp authority over those not under our legitimate charge.
I declare that we lead responsibly when we act professionally, morally, and loyally in the carrying out of our assigned tasks, and lovingly ensure that our inferiors carry out theirs diligently, productively, and safely.
I declare that the fifth commandment requires honoring those in authority over us, so as to be an honor to them and to their family, business, or government.
I declare that we honor our superiors because they are God’s servants working for our good, and because making their tasks difficult would be of no advantage to us.
I declare that we fail to honor our superiors if we bring shame upon them through cursing, mocking, impudence, or scandalous words and actions.
I declare that we fail to honor our superiors if we envy, have contempt for, or rebel against their persons or positions.
I declare that we fail to honor our superiors if we neglect our duties, or disregard their lawful advice, commands, or corrections.
I declare that we fail to honor our superiors if we seek to bypass the established channels of authority, or disregard the rank and nature of our superiors’ positions.
I declare that we fail to honor our superiors if we complain at or despise their corrections.
I declare that we fail to honor our superiors if we complain, revile, or rebel when persecuted or unlawfully treated by them.
I declare that we fail to honor our superiors if we do not remember them in prayers and thanksgiving.
I declare that we honor our superiors by giving them all due reverence and respect in our hearts, words, and behavior, bearing with their weaknesses in a Christlike manner, imitating their virtues and graces, and giving willful obedience to their lawful commands.

With regard to the Sixth Commandment:
“Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man let his blood be shed, for it is in the image of God that He made man.” Genesis 9:5-6
I DECLARE that the heart of the sixth commandment is love, respect, and preservation of human life.
I declare that the sixth commandment requires respect for the lives of others.
I declare that we respect others’ lives because they are created in the image of God, and have been placed on earth to glorify God and carry out His work.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we treat them violently, or if we take or assist in the taking of any life, except in case of public justice, lawful war, or necessary defense.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we neglect or withdraw the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we discourage the seeking of professional care for medical and psychological illnesses, injuries, and adverse conditions.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we kill, or permit or condone the killing of, infants and the unborn.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we kill, or permit or condone the killing of, the aged, injured, sick, pained, or disabled.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we assist in a suicide or speed the end of a person’s life at their request.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we treat disrespectfully the bodies of the dead, knowing that God cares for those bodies enough to resurrect them.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we forbid our government the lawful use of the sword to avenge heinous crimes and assaults on the image of God, and to protect the lives of citizens through lethal force when necessary in law enforcement and lawful war.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we use unnecessary and excessive force in defense or in the enforcement of civil law.
I declare that we fail to respect others’ lives if we go to war unlawfully, inadequately, or half-heartedly, or for revenge, conquest, economic gain, or racial or ideological superiority.
I declare that war is initiated lawfully if and only if a proper and legitimate authority defends the well-being of its citizens by formally declaring the use of lethal force against a threat, when a clear objective is proportional to the cost and has a reasonable hope of success, and when reasonable attempts at negotiation and compromise have failed.
I declare that war is conducted lawfully if and only if it incapacitates and restrains the enemy without excessive torture, grants to known noncombatants immunity from direct attack, and affects civilians only in just proportion to the evil averted or the good attained, having as its aim the elimination of threats to the restoration of lasting peace.
I declare that we respect others’ lives when we protect and defend their lives against violence through careful studies and lawful endeavors, comforting and assisting the distressed, arranging for our own healthy organs and blood to be provided to those who need them, and properly disposing of the bodies of those who have died.
I declare that we respect others’ lives when we enlist to serve in medical professions, counseling services, law enforcement, and military service, and the anticipation and handling of natural disasters; in accordance with God’s calling for our lives.
I declare that the sixth commandment requires respect for one’s own body and life.
I declare that we respect our own selves because we are created in God’s image, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and God uses us in this life to minister to others.
I declare that we fail to respect our body and life if we end or shorten our own lives.
I declare that we fail to respect our body and life if we intake food and drink immoderately or unhealthily so as to damage our bodies and shorten our lives.
I declare that we fail to respect our body and life if we deprive ourselves unhealthily of food and drink, except in the very occasional practice of fasting under the leadership of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of repentance or guidance.
I declare that we fail to respect our body and life if we ingest poisons and harmful substances which provide no nutrition to the body.
I declare that we fail to respect our body and life if we engage in unhealthy or unjustifiably dangerous labors and recreations.
I declare that we fail to respect our body and life if we permanently deface ourselves with tattoos or adorn our bodies in ways that express rebellion, recklessness, or impulsive living, whereby we also dishonor Christ for whom we are ambassadors.
I declare that we fail to respect our body and life if we waste the short time available through laziness and excessive leisure and useless endeavors.
I declare that we fail to respect our body and life if we have excessive passions and distracting cares, or place ourselves under excessive stresses and pressures which are destructive to health and life.
I declare that we respect our body and life when we live productively and pursue an adequate level of health and overall wellness, having quietness of mind and cheerfulness of spirit, soberly using meat, drink, sleep, labor, and recreations.
I declare that the sixth commandment requires subduing the passions which lead to the unlawful taking of life.
I declare that we subdue murderous passions because evil deeds originate in the passions of the heart, and they are the very opposite of the love we are to have for our neighbors.
I declare that we fail to subdue murderous passions if we harbor sinful anger, hatred, envy, or desires for revenge.
I declare that we fail to subdue murderous passions if we take pleasure in the death of the guilty.
I declare that we fail to subdue murderous passions if we despise or devalue people on the basis of gender, nationality, race, lawful profession, or difference of conscience on secondary or uncertain doctrinal issues.
I declare that we fail to subdue murderous passions if we employ provoking words, oppression, quarreling, striking, wounding, and whatever other actions tend to the harm of others.
I declare that we fail to subdue murderous passions if we undervalue the worth, envy the gifts, or grieve at the advancement or prosperity of others.
I declare that we fail to subdue murderous passions if we entertain thoughts, purposes, and temptations which tend to the unjust taking of life.
I declare that we subdue murderous passions when we fill our minds with charitable thoughts, love, compassion, meekness, gentleness, kindness, peaceableness, mild and courteous speech and behavior, bear up patiently under the hand of God, and forgive injuries without resistance or revenge, returning good for evil and being ready for reconciliation.
I declare that the sixth commandment requires preserving a respect for life in our technological advancements.
I declare that we promote a technology of life because God has enabled us to invent tools and methods to preserve, prolong, and enhance life, or to render life empty, short, or destroyed, depending on the application of our knowledge.
I declare that we fail to promote a technology of life if we abandon the established means for human procreation through insemination by donors, cloning, or the creation of true artificial life.
I declare that we fail to promote a technology of life if we experiment on humans without their consent or with deception or risk out of proportion to the probable benefit.
I declare that we fail to promote a technology of life if we prolong the functioning of the body after death is known to have occurred; that is, when the body and brain no longer support the person’s consciousness.
I declare that we fail to promote a technology of life if we restrain the medical community from lawful research and application.
I declare that we promote a technology of life when we explore the mysteries of life, health, and death, and find new ways to preserve, prolong, and enhance life, with respect for God’s creation and for the lives of the subjects and objects of our research.


With regard to the Seventh Commandment:
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that you abstain from sexual immorality.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3
I DECLARE that the heart of the seventh commandment is purity and self-control, especially with regard to God’s gift of sexuality.
I declare that the seventh commandment requires sexual purity in singlehood.
I declare that we remain pure as singles because this is God’s will for our lives, and the beginning of faithfulness to our future spouses.
I declare that we fail to remain pure as singles if we entertain unclean imaginations, fantasies, thoughts, and purposes.
I declare that we fail to remain pure as singles if we engage in or enjoy exposing our minds to crude or pornographic communications, whether in speech, song, print, pictures, plays, movies, or electronic media.
I declare that we fail to remain pure as singles if we provoke impure thoughts or test the control of others through couple-dancing or immodest apparel, or by wanton looks at one who is not ours.
I declare that we fail to remain pure as singles if we have sexual relations outside of marriage, or engage in any romantic affections disproportionate to the commitment of our relationship and the level of our self-restraint and moral judgment.
I declare that we fail to remain pure as singles if we engage in cohabitation or marriage-like relationships which are not officially and biblically marriages.
I declare that we fail to remain pure as singles if we are unfaithful in our commitments to relationships in dating, courtship, or engagement.
I declare that we fail to remain pure as singles if we delay marriage unduly, or neglect to marry if not gifted with the ability to remain celibate.
I declare that we remain pure as singles when we live in faithfulness, modesty, and decency, preserving chastity in body, mind, emotions, and behavior by keeping watch over the eyes and all the senses, keeping chaste company, and resisting temptations, submitting to God’s design and direction in approaching and preparing for marriage in accordance with the procedures of civil society.
I declare that the seventh commandment requires sexual purity in marriage.
I declare that we remain pure in marriage because we have vowed such faithfulness before God, and because it preserves the family intact for the raising of children and the orderly functioning of society.
I declare that we fail to remain pure in marriage if we dispense or enter into unlawful marriages, practice polygamy or polyandry.
I declare that we fail to remain pure in marriage if we advise, assist in, join in, or force remarriage when the previous marriage bonds have not been broken through adultery or death.
I declare that we fail to remain pure in marriage if we commit adultery, or if we allow, tolerate, or engage in spouse-swapping or open marriage.
I declare that we fail to remain pure in marriage if we regard married sex as impure, shameful, or undesirable.
I declare that we fail to remain pure in marriage if we neglect the duty of frequent sexual relations with our spouse, except in the very occasional practice of abstaining under the leadership of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of prayer.
I declare that we fail to remain pure in marriage if we engage in or demand sex out of ritual, obligation, or manipulation.
I declare that we fail to remain pure in marriage if we initiate or allow divorce for any reason other than adultery, though a believing spouse is guiltless if deserted because of her faith.
I declare that we remain pure in marriage when we recognize and maintain marriage as the only proper and holy channel of sexual expression, designed for one man and one woman for a lifetime, and when we employ sex as a means of expressing love between husband and wife.
I declare that the seventh commandment requires keeping human sexuality in accordance with its natural, God-given design.
I declare that we promote natural sex because God has provided it as the most intimate and pleasurable expression of love and therefore a sacred act, and because sexual sins are highly addictive and associated with the absolute rejection of God.
I declare that we fail to promote sex as natural if we approve of, tolerate, entertain desires for or engage in any sexual activity with those who would in no case be proper candidates for marriage, including children, animals, and people of the same sex as ourselves.
I declare that we fail to promote sex as natural if we allow, promote, or pursue sexual activity between people immediately related to each other by blood or adoption.
I declare that we fail to promote sex as natural if we harass, abuse, or relate sexually to others without their consent, whether by communication, pressure, voyeurism, exhibitionism, rape, or by any other means.
I declare that we fail to promote sex as natural if we flee from or attempt to alter the masculinity or femininity of our bodies or personalities.
I declare that we fail to promote sex as natural if we treat it as a commodity to be bought, sold, and marketed through prostitution or erotic commercialism.
I declare that we fail to promote sex as natural if we deprive it of its pleasure and treat it only as a mechanistic means of procreation.
I declare that we promote sex as natural when we follow God’s pattern for sex according to Scripture, as a pleasurable expression of love between a man and a woman married and in agreement, and denounce the perversions of sex which devalue and desecrate sexuality.
I declare that the seventh commandment requires maintaining purity and self-control in all things.
I declare that we are self-controlled because we are accountable for our every action, and because it is a fruit of the Spirit and prerequisite to Christian ministry.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we live by impulse or instinct, being ruled by our emotions.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we engage in idleness, gluttony, or drunkenness.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we live unhygienically, rudely, or obnoxiously, without consideration to the reasonable sensitivities of others and the basic expectations of human civilization; this is not understood to give moral force to modes of high culture or etiquette.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we allow our exercise of freedoms to bring discredit to the gospel or cause a fellow believer to fall into sin.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we limit our exercise of freedoms to accommodate those who indulge in legalism, criticism, and intimidation.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we engage with unmarried members of the opposite sex in activities which hinder our ability or will to remain pure in our thoughts and actions.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we ingest substances which are addictive or which significantly hinder our judgment and ability to make responsible decisions, for any other than medical purposes.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we place our minds under the control of others through suggestibility or substances, for any other than medical and professional purposes.
I declare that we fail to be self-controlled if we seek to worship God through emotion without the use of the mind.
I declare that we are self-controlled when we live our lives thoughtfully, rationally, considerately, and deliberately, preserving our discernment intact, exercising our freedom in Christ conscientiously, and remaining open to the true leadership of the Holy Spirit.

With regard to the Eighth Commandment:
“The one who steals must steal no longer; but instead he must labor; performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.” Ephesians 4:28
I DECLARE that the heart of the eighth commandment is recognizing and maintaining proper stewardship of all that God has entrusted to ourselves and others.
I declare that the eighth commandment requires having a society in which citizens are free to, and encouraged to exercise just and honest acquisition, stewardship, and investment of personal property.
I declare that we have a property-respecting society because the government is established by God for our good, and we are to render to the government only what is due it, and reserve for God what is God’s.
I declare that we fail to have a property-respecting society if we allow material and moral corruption in our government and businesses.
I declare that we fail to have a property-respecting society if we commit or allow bribery to officials and workers not to perform their assigned tasks.
I declare that we fail to have a property-respecting society if we allow oppression, or confiscation and seizing of goods without just cause and due compensation.
I declare that we fail to have a property-respecting society if we revoke or refuse to recognize individual ownership (which is actually stewardship for God) of property, such as large-scale or involuntary socialism or communism, or the distribution or redistribution of goods by the government.
I declare that we fail to have a property-respecting society if we oppressively tax or regulate citizens or their businesses, so as to render them unable to conduct profitable and honest business.
I declare that we have a property-respecting society when we entrust law-abiding citizens with the legal right and equal opportunity to obtain and control their own property, and allow the free and just operation of businesses, taking for government use only that which is necessary to fulfill God’s task for the government.
I declare that the eighth commandment requires honesty in all our business and financial transactions.
I declare that we conduct honest business because our work is ultimately our service to God, and because the poor and disenfranchised have a special place in His heart.
I declare that we fail to conduct honest business if we seek to obtain money by fraud, extortion, or unnecessary or inflated lawsuits.
I declare that we fail to conduct honest business if we raise the prices of services or commodities out of proportion to necessity, or use false weights and measures.
I declare that we fail to conduct honest business if we are unjust or unfaithful in contracts, advertisements, and other matters of trust.
I declare that we fail to conduct honest business if we treat customers as avenues for material gain rather than as people with needs we meet through our goods and services, or use undue pressure or harassment in our salesmanship.
I declare that we fail to conduct honest business if we charge excessive interest when lending, or any interest when lending to a family member or fellow believer.
I declare that we fail to conduct honest business if we foreclose or evict anyone harshly or unjustly, or without consideration for their poverty and need.
I declare that we conduct honest business when we practice truth, faithfulness, justice, and servant-heartedness in our sales, contracts, and commerce, and give and lend freely according to our ability and others’ necessities.
I declare that the eighth commandment requires respecting the personal property of our neighbors’ persons and businesses.
I declare that we respect personal property because it is the livelihood of our neighbors and has been entrusted to them for glorifying God.
I declare that we fail to respect personal property if we steal property through theft, burglary, or robbery, or receive property which we know or suspect is stolen.
I declare that we fail to respect personal property if we pursue unlawful careers or dishonest gain.
I declare that we fail to respect personal property if we solicit money for false purposes, or use money given for God’s use, to enhance our own prosperity.
I declare that we fail to respect personal property if we move, remove, or unjustly contest markers and allocations of property, or trespass and invade others’ property.
I declare that we respect personal property when we render to everyone their due, taking only what we are given, maintain a lawful career and diligence in it, and restore goods we have unlawfully detained from their rightful owners.
I declare that the eighth commandment requires proper stewardship of our own property.
I declare that we are to be faithful stewards because all that we have is entrusted to us by God to be used in ways that glorify Him, and is not for our benefit only.
I declare that we fail to be faithful stewards if we are idle, wasteful, or irresponsible in the acquisition and use of our money and goods, defrauding ourselves of the use and comfort of what God has given us.
I declare that we fail to be faithful stewards if we live beyond our means or place ourselves in debt.
I declare that we fail to be faithful stewards if we use our money and goods to gamble in the lottery, sports events, unlikely outcomes, unworthy raffles, or unwise business investments.
I declare that we fail to be faithful stewards if we fail to invest money properly so that it gains value over time.
I declare that we fail to be faithful stewards if we spend money on anything that dishonors God.
I declare that we fail to be faithful stewards if we keep all our money for our own use without giving to those in need.
I declare that we fail to be faithful stewards if we neglect the giving of offerings to God for the operation and work of the church.
I declare that we fail to be faithful stewards if we make cruel, irresponsible, or wasteful use of the earth, its animals, and its resources, over which God has given us dominion.
I declare that we are faithful stewards when we take provident care and diligence to obtain, keep, use, and responsibly dispose of all that God has entrusted to us, giving offerings first to God, then paying all debts, and frugally using for ourselves what is necessary and convenient for our own sustenance and material sufficiency, and giving what is left for the benefit of those in need.
I declare that the eighth commandment requires maintaining proper attitudes toward worldly goods.
I declare that we rightly regard worldly goods because our true treasure is in heaven, and because God has promised to provide for our needs as we deny ourselves and give up all that is required for His kingdom.
I declare that we fail to regard worldly goods rightly if we inordinately prize our possessions, or wear ourselves out to become rich.
I declare that we fail to regard worldly goods rightly if we are weighed down with distrustful and distracting cares in getting, keeping, and using worldly goods.
I declare that we fail to regard worldly goods rightly if we pray for material blessings more than spiritual ones.
I declare that we fail to regard worldly goods rightly if we see either wealth or poverty as the indication of godliness, faith, or blessing.
I declare that we regard worldly goods rightly when we moderate our judgment, will, and emotions concerning our possessions, instead setting our minds on things above.
I declare that the eighth commandment requires respecting the person of our neighbor as well as his possessions.
I declare that we respect our neighbor because God has entrusted him with time, talents, gifts, and personality as well as with material things.
I declare that we fail to respect our neighbor if we maliciously belittle or demean the way God has made and blessed him, or ridicule his idiosyncrasies or infirmities before others.
I declare that we fail to respect our neighbor if we lead him to sin in the exercising of our own freedom.
I declare that we fail to respect our neighbor if we speak or act inconsiderately or offensively toward him.
I declare that we fail to respect our neighbor if we restrict his freedom through kidnapping, unlawful restraint or containment, or abandonment.
I declare that we fail to respect our neighbor if we cause him to wait unnecessarily through our own dalliance, slowness, lateness, or lack of diligence in our time commitments.
I declare that we fail to respect our neighbor if we invade his reasonable privacy.
I declare that we respect our neighbor by respecting his blessings, conscience, sensitivity, freedom, time, and privacy.

With regard to the Ninth Commandment:
“The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes;You hate all who do iniquity.You destroy those who speak falsehood;Yahweh abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.” Psalms 5:5-6
I DECLARE that the heart of the ninth commandment is loving the truth and despising falsehood and error.
I declare that the ninth commandment requires speaking, preserving, and promoting truth between man and man.
I declare that we speak the truth because it is an aspect of God’s character which we are to emulate.
I declare that we fail to speak the truth if we break lawful promises, oaths, and vows, or betray confidences.
I declare that we fail to speak the truth if we speak lies and untruths, except when necessary in cases of war, law enforcement, and defense of others’ lives.
I declare that we fail to speak the truth if we conceal the truth or keep secret what ought to be revealed.
I declare that we fail to speak the truth if we spread rumors and reports presented as true without confirming them to be true, or receive them without complaint when we know them to be false.
I declare that we fail to speak the truth if we communicate tales, legends, and fictional illustrations as true, or speak of our own experience as though it were another’s, or vice-versa.
I declare that we speak the truth when we keeping our word and speaking the truth, and only the truth from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, setting our minds on whatever is true, honorable, loving, and reputable.
I declare that the ninth commandment requires shunning misleading and inconsistent communication.
I declare that we communicate faithfully because truth which misleads is not truth, and we are instructed to speak the truth in love for one another’s benefit.
I declare that we fail to communicate faithfully if we speak the truth maliciously or inappropriately.
I declare that we fail to communicate faithfully if we intentionally misconstrue others’ intentions, words, and actions, or deny or pervert the meaning of a text.
I declare that we fail to communicate faithfully if we corrupt our words with bias or exaggeration.
I declare that we fail to communicate faithfully if we equivocate or change the meaning of our words after they are spoken or written.
I declare that we fail to communicate faithfully if we speak true words while raising doubt through inconsistent nonverbal communication.
I declare that we communicate faithfully when we learn how most effectively to communicate truth, and do so lovingly without deceit or malice.
I declare that the ninth commandment requires respecting the importance of truth in the reputations of ourselves and others.
I declare that we respect reputation because our reputations commend the public reputation of God and set an example for others.
I declare that we fail to respect reputation if we think or speak too highly of ourselves and others, with flattery, fond admiration, self-love, or vainglorious boasting.
I declare that we fail to respect reputation if we think or speak too meanly of ourselves and others, with reviling, scornful contempt, self-pity, or false humility.
I declare that we fail to respect reputation if we receive evil reports regarding those of good reputation with undue suspicion or insufficient evidence.
I declare that we fail to respect reputation if we speak unnecessarily of others’ weaknesses or exaggerate their smaller faults.
I declare that we fail to respect reputation if we endeavor to impair someone’s deserved reputation through entrapment, slandering, back-biting, or raising or spreading false rumors.
I declare that we fail to respect reputation if we envy or grieve at the deserved credit of anyone, or rejoice in the infamy or disgrace of the innocent.
I declare that we fail to respect reputation if we lay ourselves open to public suspicion or accusation through the appearance of impropriety.
I declare that we respect reputation when we freely acknowledge our neighbor’s gifts and graces, receiving good reports readily and evil reports only when convinced of their truth; when we love, desire, rejoice in, and defend the good reputation of our neighbor; and when we keep ourselves above reproach and give no opportunity for accusation.
I declare that the ninth commandment requires maintaining truth and justice in the operation of law and discipline.
I declare that we maintain justice because God in His justice requires it of us, and has instituted authorities among men to preserve it on earth.
I declare that we fail to maintain justice if we are unduly silent in a just cause, or knowingly appear and plead for a false or unjust cause.
I declare that we fail to maintain justice if we hide, excuse, or extenuate our own sins when called to a free confession.
I declare that we fail to maintain justice if we hold our peace when witnessing a crime, or whenever iniquity calls for reproof from ourselves or complaint to authorities.
I declare that we fail to maintain justice if we encourage or commit perjury, file false statements, suborn false witnesses, or give false evidence.
I declare that we fail to maintain justice if we pass partial or unjust sentences, fail to give the truth a full hearing, or condemn the innocent.
I declare that we fail to maintain justice if we reward the wicked for the work of the righteous, or provide rash, harsh, partial, or inadequate censuring.
I declare that we fail to maintain justice if, under the guise of forgiveness or compassion, or for any other reason, we acquit or pardon the guilty when their crimes have not received due and just punishment.
I declare that we maintain justice when we appear and stand for the truth, denounce injustice and falsehood, and execute justice in the enforcement of law and discipline.
I declare that the ninth commandment requires upholding and proclaiming God’s revealed truth.
I declare that we uphold God’s truth because He has revealed it and commissioned its proclamation to all people and nations so that they might be glad and give Him glory.
I declare that we fail to uphold God’s truth if we teach doctrines which we do not believe, or which we know are contrary to the Bible.
I declare that we fail to uphold God’s truth if our biblical interpretations are inconsistent or contradict truth which God has clearly revealed.
I declare that we fail to uphold God’s truth if we mingle biblical accounts, teachings, and remembrances with traditions, legends, and fairy tales.
I declare that we fail to uphold God’s truth if we call evil good and good evil, reformulating our ethics without regard for the Bible.
I declare that we fail to uphold God’s truth if we detract from or scoff at the teachings of the Bible.
I declare that we fail to uphold God’s truth if we deny the gifts and graces of God.
I declare that we fail to uphold God’s truth if we shrink from proclaiming God’s truth through evangelism and missions, whether for fear of persecution and rejection, or in the guise of respect and tolerance.
I declare that we fail to uphold God’s truth if we are hearers of the word only, and not doers of it.
I declare that we uphold God’s truth when we proclaim the true teachings of the Bible to believers and unbelievers alike, making it the foundation for our beliefs and our behavior.


With regard to the Tenth Commandment:
“Let your disposition be without love of money, being satisfied with present things. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never ever leave you, nor will I ever abandon you.'” Hebrews 13:5
I DECLARE that the heart of the tenth commandment is delight in God’s will whereby He blesses us and our neighbors.
I declare that the tenth commandment requires a charitable frame of the whole self toward our neighbors.
I declare that we regard our neighbors charitably because God gives common grace to all, and alone knows what is best for them, and because any perceived injustices will be set right at the judgment.
I declare that we fail to regard our neighbors charitably if we envying and grieving at their favor, success, or prosperity, or any grace which God bestows on them.
I declare that we fail to regard our neighbors charitably if we have inordinate emotions and purposes toward their possessions.
I declare that we fail to regard our neighbors charitably if we despair at the success of the wicked.
I declare that we fail to regard our neighbors charitably if we take credit for the differences between them and ourselves.
I declare that we fail to regard our neighbors charitably if we measure our success or prosperity by comparing it to theirs.
I declare that we regard our neighbors charitably when we ensure that our inward emotions and purposes concerning our neighbor tend to and further his goodness and prosperity.
I declare that the tenth commandment requires contentment with our own estate.
I declare that we are content because God has given us everything we need for life and godliness, and brings blessing or calamity upon us for our benefit and for His glory.
I declare that we fail to be content when we are jealous of or envy at others’ positions or abilities.
I declare that we fail to be content when we have undue concern for the security of our possessions.
I declare that we fail to be content when we despair at what we do not have.
I declare that we fail to be content when we pursue faith and godliness as means to material gain.
I declare that we are content when we receive and use God’s blessings willingly and gratefully, demonstrating our contentment through the generosity of our giving, and making our requests humbly, rejoicing in the hope of eternal life, in whose light the cares of the world fade away.





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